Valley Gardening: Plant flags in Centennial Park

I moved to the Valley in July 1973 from Luverne, MN. What I missed most that first summer was the thunderstorms that used to roll through the Midwest. And now, I am missing the snowstorms! My Mom and Dad both drove school busses to help support their family of 10. When it was storming us kids would always look out the window at the big streetlight and see how much snow was blowing. Dad never, ever told us whether he thought there would be school or not. He made us get up and listen to the radio to get the school updates.

I’m really missing snowstorms this winter! I don’t think anyone would even complain about shoveling if we would only get some snow. Maybe it is just weird—my grandson was carried out of the store earlier (Friday) and he didn’t even have a coat on! It’s January, for crying out loud and he is only 1. I’m not seeing any changes in the next two weeks, 54 today, then a cool down, and then back to the high 40’s. 

Last Sunday I actually worked in the round planters in Centennial Park. I know I said I was going to do it months ago, but the wind came up…or something…so finally had some time…and it sure felt good getting it half done. It was pretty amazing to see columbines and chives starting to grow. I wanted to yell at them and say S-T-O-P, winter is coming, and it really is, soon, I think.

As I was working in this planter it came to me that this would be a great place to have some flagpoles, with flags representing the US and all the branches of the military. On the outside of the west planter there are already plaques, but I’m thinking flags would be nice. I immediately thought of the Boogie Romero’s—both of them and went knocking on their door. I later found out that Dorothy was at the Care Center, so went out there and had a great visit with her while watching the Vikings game—even though I left at the 2 minute warning and didn’t see the best part of the game.

Please take a look at the pole I have in front of the Spot, and then take a look at the planter and let me know if you think this is a good idea. Would you be willing to help raise $2,500-$4,000 depending on the type of pole, etc.? I have this vision that it would look pretty awesome.

I said last week that pulling up all your grass and putting down rock is not the way to conserve water—in my opinion! And that’s a very strong opinion! The key is to water properly, and mow properly and fertilize properly. Even a Kentucky Bluegrass lawn is VERY drought tolerant if you train it right. I remember going back to Minnesota a few years ago and my Mom had cracks in her lawn that were almost half an inch wide and deep. It was hard to comprehend why Mom was killing her lawn. A couple of days later it rained, the soil expanded and the grass greened up. It was just that simple.

Around here we have sprinklers and can water and water and water with no thought to waste. Even when it is pouring cats and dogs, no one turns the sprinklers off. I remember turning sprinklers off over 35 years ago when I worked for the City of Alamosa. I remember getting drenched while turning them off but it seemed important then, and now! In Colorado Springs you have to put a sensor on your sprinkler system and it automatically turns the water off.

I know we don’t “usually” get that much rain, but we also “usually” have snow so who knows what this spring and summer will bring. You need to understand your lawn and see if you can figure out less water, while maintaining green and health!

There’s a Seed Exchange on Saturday, January 27th from 2-4 p.m. and the Nielson Library on the ASU Campus. Go and learn what grows in our challenging area!

Also, I hope you marked Saturday, February 3 on your calendar for the “Helping Paws, with Peyton” event at the Green Spot. It’s going to be the bake sale of the century—because everyone loves Peyton.  The sale starts at 10 a.m. with coffee, cocoa, apple cider and baked goods. Something special is going to happen at 10:30 a.m. but don’t tell Charlie and Sheila! P.S. I am not a baker or a candlestick maker so baked goods are welcomed and appreciated. Drop some off, buy some others. All proceeds will benefit the local animal shelter. Thank you Peyton Sanchez! More than anything, keep Peyton in your prayers!